Minutes Matter

Frequently Asked Questions


Minutes Matter is a community engagement process to bring the community and Lemont Fire Protection District together to discover challenges and opportunities facing the fire district now and in the future, with a focus on assessing the potential relocation of fire stations to improve emergency response times and overall operational efficiency.

By listening to everyone’s ideas and best thinking, we can ensure our fire protection district provides the level of emergency services our community expects.

The fire district is planning for the future. Fire station locations were selected decades ago, and emergency response times continue to increase as the community grows. It often takes the district six minutes or more to arrive at an emergency scene.

With advances in mapping and data technology, the district can now make more informed decisions about fire station placement and improve response times. Now is the time for area residents to learn more about the district, the services provided and how we serve the community.

The district also wants to hear from the community about what they think about the challenges and opportunities facing the district, as well as the level of services they expect.

Our area continues to grow and our call volumes continue to rise. If the stations remain in their current locations, response times will continue to increase.

In addition, our existing stations cannot accommodate additional firefighter/paramedics, meaning the district cannot increase staffing levels to meet the growing demand. Furthermore, construction costs are steadily increasing, averaging at least 6% per year. Delaying necessary station updates will only result in higher expenses in the future.

Everyone in our fire district community is encouraged to attend our Minutes Matter open houses and station tours, and participate in our online surveys.

While the open houses will provide tours of different fire stations, the other information presented and feedback gathered will be the same at each session.

Participants in Minutes Matter are developing a final report for the Board of Trustees about the community’s priorities for emergency services. This report will reflect the thoughts and opinions of our entire community, and we need to hear what you think!

Minutes Matter is a community-led effort. Four community co-chairs lead a 32-member facilitating team of community members, volunteers, firefighter/paramedics and district leadership. This facilitating team is responsible for developing open houses, the community workshop and other ways to gather community feedback. The facilitating team also leads the preparation of the final report of goals and priorities for the Board of Trustees.

Participants are invited to participate in the open houses as their schedule allows, and can come and go whenever is convenient for them during the time of the open house.

Attendees can tour the fire station, learn more about the fire district, and consider potential options to improve emergency response times by moving two fire stations and updating the other existing stations. They can also provide feedback on these options and the fire district.

Fire district leadership and Minutes Matter Facilitating Team Members will be available to answer questions and provide additional information.

The feedback gathered at these open houses is the foundation for the recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

April 11
Station 1
15900 New Ave, Lemont, IL
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

April 13
Station 1
15900 New Ave, Lemont, IL
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

April 16
Station 2
12940 Bell Rd, Lemont, IL 60439
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

April 23
Lemont Public Library
50 E Wend St, Lemont, IL 60439
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

The community workshop is an opportunity to learn about the feedback gathered through the four open houses and the community survey and assist in developing a Minutes Matter final report for the Board of Trustees.

Yes! Visit the Minutes Matter section of the Lemont Fire Protection District website to learn more and provide your feedback.

Yes! Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about our fire protection district!

If you have a question, please ask here. To learn more, email info@lemontfire.com or call (630) 257-2376.


We serve over 25,000 residents across 26 square miles in Cook, DuPage, and Will Counties. This includes the villages of Lemont, Darien, Woodridge, Palos Park, and Lemont Township, covering 9,500 single-family homes, 661 commercial buildings, a tollway, rail lines, a shipping canal corridor and more.

Our services include firefighting, emergency medical services (EMS), rescue operations (like water, trench, and confined space rescues), severe weather response, public emergency training, fire prevention, and public education.


Station #1 would be relocated to 15783 West 127th Street, which is at the corner of Water St. and 127th St. This location would allow us to reach residents in the southwest area, including subdivisions such as Big Run Acres, Rolling Meadows, Eagle Crest, Briarcliff, and Covington Knolls faster. 

The new fire station at this location would also provide adequate space for safe firefighter gear storage, up-to-date equipment and vehicle maintenance and storage. 

The current station locations were chosen many years ago based on land availability and population distribution. Since then, our population has grown and shifted. With today’s technology and data, we see opportunities to relocate stations for improved response times and service efficiency.

For the proposed plan to be effective, both stations must be relocated. If only one is moved, there will be a response coverage gap, which means increased response times for many residents. Currently, we can reach around 32% of the district in 6 minutes. If we move the two stations, this will increase to 50%.

When an LFPD crew is dispatched to a call, emergency coverage for their designated area is transferred to the crew from the next nearest fire station. This ensures there is always a team ready to respond, but it may result in longer response times because the station is farther away.

In developing plans for the future, the district recognized the shift in population and increasing response times. Property in our area sells quickly, and land value continues to rise.

When it became apparent that the district would explore the possibility of moving stations, leadership began exploring property options as they became available in the area. The two locations selected were ideal for addressing the population shift and in the necessary locations to reduce response times.

In addition, the proposed new fire station #3 location has a building that can be renovated rather than building new, which means millions of dollars in savings.

If the district had waited for the community to approve the proposal, finding ideal station locations could have taken years. If the community determines this is not the best path forward, the district can decide whether to sell the land at a profit or keep it for future use.

The district looked at other properties, but many property owners were not willing to sell, others were too expensive, and others would have resulted in less-than-ideal response times.

The building used to be an educational site. It will require a gut rehab and the addition of engine bays, but it can be repurposed, saving the district approximately $10 million from building new.

The district owns the property where the current fire station #1 (15900 New Avenue Lemont, IL 60439) is located, and it would be sold to reduce the cost of the new facilities.

The land where the current fire station #3 is located (10801 S. Marmon Drive, Woodridge, IL 60517) is in an industrial area and was donated to the fire district in 1994. At the time, the location was chosen to fill a coverage gap on the district’s north side. Since then, Bolingbrook and Romeoville have annexed the north area of the district up to Route 53 and I-55, meaning it is no longer served by the Lemont Fire Protection District. Because of this, the location is very close to the district’s boundary lines.

When the land was donated, the deed included a clause that the property may only be used as a public fire station or for other public purposes. The district is exploring options for selling the property under the deed’s provisions. If a sale is not possible, it will be used as a training center.

The center of the fire district is approximately 15 minutes from one of the three primary hospitals.
Moving the fire stations will allow us to arrive on the scene of many emergencies faster, which will, in turn, make it quicker to get to the hospital. However, the location of fire stations doesn’t really affect how quickly we can get someone to the hospital because we go straight from where the emergency happened to the hospital, not from the station to the hospital.

Renderings and floor plans for the two new stations and updates to the two existing stations are estimated to cost more than $40,000. If the district does not move forward with this plan, the expense of these renderings and plans would be a waste of tax dollars.

Current and projected emergency call volumes do not show a need for a fifth fire station at this time. Before building a new station, we would need to be able to fully staff the existing stations. Once that has been accomplished and if call volume and response times warranted it, we could explore adding a fifth station.

Not counting the land, station and equipment maintenance, if we were to do this today, additional costs would include:

  • Approximately $1,620,000 per year in staffing (3 firefighters per shift; 3 shifts = 9 total personnel)
  • Approximately $1,000,000 for a new fire rescue truck
  • Approximately $370,000 for a new ambulance


Currently, our emergency response vehicles barely fit in the fire station bays. Responses are delayed in some situations because vehicles have to be moved to allow other vehicles to exit the station, and in some cases, trailers have to be connected.

The district has support vehicles such as a brush truck, fire investigation vehicle, dive van and a boat. These are currently housed at stations where they fit best, not necessarily where they are needed.

New vehicles continue to get larger and simply will not fit in our stations.

The district’s trucks, equipment, and vehicles are maintained on-site at Fire Station #1 by a certified emergency vehicle technician who is a full-time district employee.

This in-house maintenance allows the district to extend the life of its equipment and helps meet current National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (ASHA) standards. For example, many fire trucks stay in service for 16 years or more; the average lifespan of a fire truck in a district our size is 10-15 years.

The current space was built in the 1970s when equipment, trucks and even the fire district were much smaller. Now, it is difficult, if not impossible, to repair fire trucks and other equipment inside because of a lack of space.

It is safer and more efficient to have maintenance located at the same location as headquarters. From a safety perspective, it is important for our mechanic not to work alone in a building in case something happens while repairing a vehicle or other piece of equipment. In addition, it is helpful to have immediate access to district leadership to discuss maintenance costs, orders and other information and decision-making.

The current fire station, #3, is too narrow to maintain many of our vehicles. In addition, a mezzanine toward the back of the engine bay takes away usable maintenance space. There are also safety concerns about the mechanic working alone in the station if the crew is off-site.

The district has a capital plan that outlines an equipment replacement cycle. This is a planned process for updating and replacing fire district equipment over time, ensuring all gear, from fire trucks to personal protective equipment, remains up-to-date, effective and safe for use.

This proactive approach helps in budgeting for replacements and avoids downtime due to equipment failure, ensuring that the fire district is always ready to respond with reliable equipment.

The Lemont Fire Protection District has:

  • Four fire engines that also carry advanced life support emergency medical equipment
  • One ladder truck that also carries advanced life support emergency medical equipment
  • One tender truck (transports large quantities of water to fires with no hydrants)
  • Five ambulances
  • One mobile air compressor unit to fill firefighter air tanks (SCBAs)
  • Seven support vehicles
    • Hazardous materials unit
    • Dive van with boat
    • Fire investigations unit
    • Polaris brush fire utility task/terrain vehicle (UTV)
    • Three station utility vehicles (used to send members to training, physicals, etc.)
  • Eleven staff vehicles
    • Five command vehicles 
    • Buildings and grounds van
    • Two fire prevention SUVs
    • Emergency Medical Director’s vehicle
    • Vehicle technician truck
    • Pick up truck for plowing, utility needs and pulls brush UTV


The fire district is primarily funded through local property taxes and supplemented by ambulance fees.

The district is working with FGM, an architectural firm that is a national leader in designing fire stations. They have worked with many other area fire districts and departments to update and build new fire stations. 


The team at FGM worked with district leadership to develop a space needs study to determine LFPD’s square footage requirements for all of its facilities. This included an analysis of:

  • Living quarters for personnel
  • Apparatus bays for vehicles
  • Maintenance space
  • Training space
  • Administrative space


FGM then used the information from the space needs study and national best practices to develop cost estimates based on current and projected construction costs and square footage. Because construction would not start for at least a year and a half to two years, estimates also include approximate inflation increases.

Sometimes, a district’s ISO (Insurance Services Office) rating can impact home insurance rates. The ISO rating is a score provided to fire departments and insurance companies by the Insurance Services Office through its Public Protection Classification program. 

The ISO evaluates fire departments and then provides rating information to insurance companies to ensure fair insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties. A higher rating can result in lower insurance rates for residents and businesses. In 2022, the Lemont Fire Protection District earned a Class 2 rating from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) — the second highest possible rating for fire protection services. The rating reflects how well a fire district is prepared to respond to and suppress fires.

In 2020, the district issued a $3.5 million bond to update equipment and station communication systems. The district is paying approximately $300,000 per year from its operating funds to pay off the bond.

New fire stations are expected to take seven to 14 months to construct. Only one station would undergo construction at a time to ensure quality emergency responses during construction. A sample timeline could look like this:

  • Year one: Voters approve plan, bidding process and planning
  • Year two: Construction begins on station 3
  • Year three: Construction starts on station 1
  • Year four: Construction begins on station 2
  • Year five: Construction begins on station 4

Approximately 700 homes are planned for construction in the district in the next three years. When these properties are purchased, the fire district will receive additional revenue to increase service levels. However, based on our current station size, there is not enough room to add more firefighters/paramedics as the need increases and funding becomes available.